MIDI Guitar

August 2019 is the first KVR Guitar Month so here's a new forum for discussion of all things guitar!
Peter [KVR]
KVRer
9 posts since 13 Sep, 2017

Post Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:41 am

How many people have tried using MIDI with their guitar, like a Roland or Fishman TriplePlay system?

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nix808
KVRAF
4127 posts since 22 Jul, 2006 from Tasmania, Australia

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:53 am

Hi there!
I really follow the MIDI guitar scene,
what questions do you have?

Here is my thread where I am developing hexaphonic and mono guitar string signal interpreters/converters->
viewtopic.php?f=298&t=439603

It is my opinion that pickup-based solutions can track notes as accurately as switches/contact sensors, but there is inherently some time delay to realize absolute pitch reproduction. Using a Roland GK3 pickup and a breakout box to multi-channel soundcard, I am 99% at there- it works well enough that at this point I am seeking perfection.

Guitars are awesome MIDI controllers imo!

small edit-> This site is great for all things synth guitar: https://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/

TobyB
KVRist
59 posts since 18 Dec, 2018

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Wed Mar 18, 2020 5:03 pm

Me.
I started with Sonuus i2M. I have FTP on two guitars (one is a Variax), GK-3 guitars (just upgraded from GR-55 to SY1000) ... Breakout box means I can track and modulate each string with an incidence of MIDI Guitar 2.
I have a Rob O'Reilly Expressive E on order.
If you are starting out down this slippery slope, go with the Fishman and its EW package, and any VST synths you fancy.
Or try the i2M with a cheap second-hand mono-synth like the IK Uno (think of the Uno as a big pedal, but don't stand on it!) ... it's a lot of fun.
The GK-3 route is more expensive... the pickup isn't, but a 13-pin lead and a box to plug it in to is ...

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leo007
KVRist
68 posts since 2 Feb, 2020

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:59 am

I have tried JAM ORIGIN MIDI guitar 2 VST plugin its great, accurate and polyphonic.
the down side for me was a bit noticeable latency

CapnLockheed
KVRAF
2320 posts since 12 Mar, 2002 from Central NY

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:12 am

I'm an OLD hand at this. I've owned or at least tried every possible solution. From the first contact instrument....the Guitorgan. No midi at all, standard strings and each fret sliced in 6 with insulators between each string. Fun but limited. And push button contact devices like the Z-tars and Yamaha EZ-EG. Those worked but they were not really GUITARS per se. I jumped on the Roland bandwagon with the GR-300 there again tho not really midi but hexaphonic signal processing.....but also no latency! Then Roland went MIDI. The GR-700. It farted, glitched and belched like a flatulent brontosaurus. Useless IMHO. The controller looked like a bad 80's movie but at least the synth used the JX-3P's synth engine so good sounds but, IMHO, damn near unplayable. Roland in their infinite wisdom failed to include MIDI I/O jacks so the synth itself is pretty much worthless. Then, after seeing Steve Morse use one, I switched to a Shadow SH-075. This was a completely self contained contained unit with MIDI conversion happening on the controller/pad mounted on the guitar. It tracked pretty well and having the control pad at your finger tips was great. Here's a nice demo vid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzsaZe2zQV4

But it eventually died and Shadow stopped making them. In the meantime Roland improved their offerings.....so back I went. At the height of my renewed Roland experience I was running a GI-20 converter driving an XV-3080 synth, a US-20 MIDI selector so I could ABY switch between the synth and a VG88 for COSM FX, alternate tuning etc. I still have the Roland kit for the COSM stuff but sold the GI-20 as I do most of my MIDI work with the Fishman Triple Play. I also acquired an iConnectivity MIDI2USB host so I can play my hardware synths without a PC.

We've come a long way baby!
the secrets to old age: Faster horses, Richer Women, Bigger CPU's

https://soundcloud.com/cristofe-chabot/sets/main

tapper mike
KVRAF
5313 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:16 am

Been there done that, never going back.

So long as you are playing a real guitar you will have tuning issues. Everyone who has listened to a guitar just treats it as "That's just the way it is" Wes Montgomery said it right. "The guitar is not a perfect instrument"

Midi to midi is still the fastest means of transfer from master to slave or controller to unit. It's 1 millisecond. Unlike USB (even usb3) because there is no waiting for everyone to get on the bus and nothing needs to get converted and back again. The only way to achieve that on a computer is via a dedicated pci.

The linnstrument can run via usb or midi. The speed limit on the LS using Midi out is 2ms. No glitches. Guitar midi uses pitch to midi. You may have the fastest pitch to voltage system in the world and yet it is far far behind standard midi to midi. There are zero tuning or warble issues on a linnstrument. There are several ways to deal with pitch slides(bends) from mircotonal movement to others. It's literally just gliding your fingers across rows. It puts more expressive power under your fingers than any guitar to midi device ever made and 99% of other midi controllers. Velocity, Pressure, left, right (pitch up and down) Up Down modulation even without mpe. MPE expands this further as each finger has independent control over how the note under it is expressed.

Yes there is a learning curve. Everything on the regarding positional playing is upside down and backwards. It takes a little time to adjust to, but you will if you are earnest. The forms shapes are visually apparent.

You can play the 128 or the 200 with all the same features sans the extra "frets"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5UXHP8wyAk

Learning how to put two handed chords together is actually not that hard.

You can play it sitting, you can play it standing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm_1N9eRJqU

CapnLockheed
KVRAF
2320 posts since 12 Mar, 2002 from Central NY

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:12 pm

the secrets to old age: Faster horses, Richer Women, Bigger CPU's

https://soundcloud.com/cristofe-chabot/sets/main

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nix808
KVRAF
4127 posts since 22 Jul, 2006 from Tasmania, Australia

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:37 pm

this stuff can be expensive for sure
Starr Labs controllers are,
-and Roland's new one costs a dime too->
https://djcity.com.au/product/boss-sy-1 ... nTEALw_wcB
$1800 there

tapper mike
KVRAF
5313 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:01 am

CapnLockheed wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:12 pm
And only $1500.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... controller
The 128 is also available for a few hundred less

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... lsrc=aw.ds

Yes if you want that level of control it does raise the cost of production.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5313 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:11 am

nix808 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:37 pm
this stuff can be expensive for sure
Starr Labs controllers are,
-and Roland's new one costs a dime too->
https://djcity.com.au/product/boss-sy-1 ... nTEALw_wcB
$1800 there
Regarding Starr Labs. I had the first BabyZ available and it cost me $1200
Back then it had an old usb design that lasted me a number of years. Newer ones have resolved this and other issues. The price has come down as well.
https://www.starrlabs.com/product/babyz/

The logarithmic neck with rubberized "Strings" is a joy to play over the older button necks and it still has something of a body. It's far far superior to the Instrument 1 by artiphon. While you can't get "round robin" mpe out of it you can still get zone midi channelling

If you are into buttons / 24 fret design they also make a very affordable Gotar.
https://www.starrlabs.com/product/gotar/

tapper mike
KVRAF
5313 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:36 am

Here's a thing I learned about tapping on guitars and ztars.

The left or let's call it the underhand (fretting hand) hand cannot develop the speed/strength that the of tapping that the right hand achieves simply because of armature.

I've been playing guitar since the 70's I've been tapping on guitar since the early 80's hence the user name. When I first started "tapping" on the ztar It changed my perspective that I had no desire to tap on guitar ever again. Because the ztar was so liberating. It took me years to get back into tapping on guitar.

There are still videos of me playing the ztar on yt, Though the majority of them I received take down orders which is when I decided to stop uploading and removed some out of bitterness (I have even more YT issues)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7bxqy56X4k

I'll never go back to the ztar. Simply because the linnstrument offers so much more.

I haven't quit playing guitar. I play everyday, and I arrange jazz standards for chord/melody using my tap + fingerstyle technique. It's still fun and challenging but it also can't compare to the linnstrument.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5313 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:38 am

I've been thinking about doing educational videos for the linnstrument. But haven't had the time. If / when I do they will only be released in the FB linnstrument user group or my fb page.

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nix808
KVRAF
4127 posts since 22 Jul, 2006 from Tasmania, Australia

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:26 am

I have here my mode,
I just hack at it(the playing)-
but this is my software I make
playing a fake ESP I have lost the synth program for now->
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kUO61fnpUA

very nice tapping

tapper mike
KVRAF
5313 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:05 am

Liked the video

I've been looking at your host. (haven't downloaded it yet)

I'm becoming very dissatisfied with Cantabile.

Is there a possibility that you can set it up as a chainer? (host in host)

My main daw currently is Mixcraft which I prefer over Bitwig Studio 8track. Sans the MPE

I've been "jury rigging" Korg Krome for mpe via 16 tracks in combination mode with midi select on each track. It's pia to set up but once set up it's more reliable and I can import samples sounds into krome.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5313 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: MIDI Guitar

Post Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:12 am

Here's another proof of concept oldie of mine. The multiple notes per "string" and zones was a lot of fun. It's moreso on the Linnstrument.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYouJfvKlFo

Though due to the positioning for the left hand on the linnstrument some of these examples don't transpose to it. That being said. When working with tapping on the ztar I always found myself going to fixed velocity as any other setting was insane to maintain any type of consistent playing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_yX7cwWntw

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